Eugene, Ore. - The women’s basketball program’s freshman class of Darriel Gaynor, Jasmin Holliday and Amanda Johnson are in Eugene this summer, taking classes and getting to know the city they will call home for the next four years. Each week a different player will be updating www.GoDucks.com on how things are going for the trio. This week, Amanda checks in to tell us about the first week of school, life in the dorms, and the buzz of the Olympic Trials.

I have officially completed my first week of freshman year as a Duck up here in Eugene, Oregon. To be honest, I cannot believe that only seven days have gone by. Each day of our first week was packed full with a multitude of activities and meetings.

Last Monday we met with our academic advisor, Jennie, at 8:30 a.m., and received our schedules for the summer term. Then she walked us to our first class, because we honestly would never have found it, even though it is about two minutes from our dorm rooms.

Upon entering the classroom, all of the nerves that I was having dissipated as the three of us, Jasmin, Darriel and I, slid into our seats next to the incoming freshmen basketball and football players. Knowing that there are other people in the same exact situation is a comforting feeling. Anyway, the class we take every morning from 9-11 a.m., is International Studies 250. For this class, we have a paper due everyday, and two papers to complete over the weekend. It may seem like a pretty heavy work load, and don’t worry, it is.
Then on Mondays and Wednesdays we have a Library class where we learn how to gather research from the library’s resources and compile the information into a research paper. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have an Academic Success class, where we learn study skills that will help us for our International Studies papers and final. These classes last until 12:30 p.m. or so, at which point we go to the building for academic services for student athletes and attend study hall. They feed us some pretty delicious sandwiches before we start breaking down into our small discussion groups to analyze the readings we do for our International Studies class. We have to read ahead, so that if a paper is due Wednesday, we have to read that chapter on Monday so that we can discuss it on Tuesday in study hall.

With weights and conditioning in the morning, optional conditioning in the afternoon and open gyms twice a week, it is really essential that I manage my time so that I will be able to read the chapters. I make sure I find time to do so because the discussions at study hall are very helpful in clarifying the issues presented in the chapters.

Last week we got our physicals done in the spiffy new treatment center, met with the journalist from the newspaper, met with the director of the media guide, met with the nutritionist, and received our Oregon gear for the summer. Let me tell you, I slept really well on those dorm beds every night last week. And since we got all of the meetings out of the way last week, that means we have the afternoons pretty much to ourselves for the rest of the month.

So far we've taken advantage of the Olympic Trials being about 100 yards from our dorm room window. In fact, we can see the jumbo TV screen from our desks, and we are able to watch the races as they happen. It's pretty awesome. But it will be interesting to see how it quiets down again after all those people leave. As for now, we are enjoying the noise that is buzzing around campus and waking up each day to a new life that is filled with nothing but excitement.

Oregon's 2008-09 home opener is set for Tuesday, Nov. 18, when the Pacific Tigers visit Mac Court.

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